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DH nagging me to “be more positive”

(133 Posts)
Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:04:22

When I feel that I’m just being realistic rather than negative!
First example. Before the start of lockdown I told him that our visit to his parents over Easter didn’t look likely to happen. So I wanted to contact the accommodation to see if we could rearrange or get our deposit back. He wouldn’t do this as I needed “ to be more positive” and that it could still happen. Lo and behold it didn’t!

The latest example. His well past retirement age mum has a part time job. This job revolves entirely around people who have travelled to the U.K. after having been to multiple far flung exotic places around the world. Without giving too much away this job cannot exist without these customers. Currently MIL is on furlough. The place that she works at is unlikely to be able to open for the foreseeable future so they have announced redundancies. MIL is on the shielding list so even if her workplace opened back up she couldn’t work. So I said to DH that I imagine she will be one of those made redundant. He completely blew up at me because I should “ be positive!”.

He’s making out like I’m this negative, miserable harbinger of doom when I feel like I’m just being realistic. These are just two examples. I feel like it would be ridiculous for me to pretend his mum is going to be one of a handful of staff kept on just for the sake of “ positivity”. For me being positive has its place when there is a reasonable chance of a good outcome.


OP’s posts: |
araiwa Sun 14-Jun-20 12:06:45

Nobody likes being dragged down by negative people all the time

Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:07:44

But I’m not negative all of the time. I just don’t say everything’s going to be just fine when it’s clearly not 🤨

OP’s posts: |
FourTeaFallOut Sun 14-Jun-20 12:10:27

YABU. It's very easy to play Cassandra at the moment and feel as though you are in control because you can see the shit that lies ahead. It's much harder to keep your spirits up when you have to carry the dead weight of a negative Nora.

hammeringinmyhead Sun 14-Jun-20 12:10:28

It's justified in preparing for worst case when it will affect you, such as with the accommodation, but I hope you didn't just raise his mum probably being made redundant out of nowhere. If he hadn't really thought about it in those terms he may now worry needlessly - as he can't change the outcome.

If you are, for example, reading bits of the news out to him that make it look like a second wave is coming, stop it.

heartsonacake Sun 14-Jun-20 12:10:58

So I said to DH that I imagine she will be one of those made redundant.

Why did you feel the need to say that though? What does that achieve except being negative and upsetting?

As pp said, it’s draining being around negativity. You don’t have to be all happy-go-lucky positive all the time, but it sounds like you’re constantly bringing him down.

DuckALaurent Sun 14-Jun-20 12:15:33

It sounds like he won’t hear anything other than chirpy optimism. Talking about real and also likely possibilities isn’t automatically negative. Negative would be presuming the worst when it’s unlikely to happen.

I’d find his aversion to talking about highly likely outcomes, even those he doesn’t want, to be quite immature tbh. And a bit weird. Head in the sand for everything would be exhausting and odd.

FinallyHere Sun 14-Jun-20 12:16:37

This is a tricky one, that is very close to my heart. Lets me see if I can find anything useful to say, based on what I would like to hear myself in a similar situation.

* imagine she will be one of those made redundant.*

I would find it quite hard to hear this type of comment. I know people who can find something to say , that is less confrontational, something that feels more as if we are sitting side by side facing what is coming together rather than face to face saying it's probably going to be as bad as it gets.

'How do you feel about, or how do you see ' are the sort of openings that I think help to get that side by side feeling. They allow the other person to open up a bit rather than jump to the opposite view.

I hope you find the right words to help each other. It's certainly not easy.

Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:18:04

No I’m not reading the news to him about a second wave. That’s my bloody point! I’m not “being negative” over everything and anything. But I’m not the kind of person to just give platitudes In the name of blind “positivity”.
I didn’t bring his mothers redundancy up out of nowhere. He brought it up and I gave my opinion. We have even discussed that it probably wasn’t a safe place for her to work going forward. Redundancy is likely, would be for the best for her at this stage and wouldn’t leave her financially destitute.

OP’s posts: |
TheStoic Sun 14-Jun-20 12:18:23

Sounds like you might both be on opposite ends of the positivity spectrum.

Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:19:57

DuckALaurent you’ve hit the nail on the head.

OP’s posts: |
Antipodeancousin Sun 14-Jun-20 12:20:45

On the face of it, you are correct.
However some people really revel in the opportunity to be the harbinger of doom. Is it possible that you’re always quick and maybe a little gleeful to be announcing bad news? People don’t react well to that.

TheHighestSardine Sun 14-Jun-20 12:21:51

I used to be like this, and eventually DP got tired of it and pointed out how useless and negative it really is. Having never thought about it properly, it made me step back and look at myself - and I agreed.

Now I'll just not say those things and funnily enough it makes my mood better as well.

It may feel like realism to you, but it's deliberate cynicism and is undermining. Restrict yourself to either shutting up, or if you really can't stop yourself then a positive "Hopefully!" when other people are suggesting things.

FourTeaFallOut Sun 14-Jun-20 12:22:03

Well, you certainly don't know that your mil's job will be on the chopping block because she is on the shielded list. We haven't been locked in like caged animals, you know? It's a choice to follow the advice, and she may well choose not to follow it or, it might be that her employment is afforded some legal protection if we are asked to shield past June 30th. Just assuming she will be made redundant and telling your DH to suck it up is not helpful and he's not immature to tell you to rack it in.

Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:22:35

TheStoic - ironically he was jokingly described by a friend as the guy with the cloud over his head. So he’s not Mr sunshine himself. So I can only assume it is that he doesn’t like it when I say things he doesn’t want to face.

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GravityFalls Sun 14-Jun-20 12:24:01

I agree that’s it’s very hard to live with someone who’s always negative, but it’s equally hard to live with someone who won’t open their eyes to very real likely problems ahead which would be dealt with in a way that incurs the minimum of stress and inconvenience with a little forward planning.

The redundancy thing, for example - if the MIL thought she was likely to be made redundant she could start looking at her budget, savings, pension, living circumstances, look into other opportunities etc...just hoping everything will turn out OK is a legitimate strategy but it’s not very effective and if you know she’s the sort of person to be sent into a panic if the worst did happen it’s practical to start the planning well in advance.

TheStoic Sun 14-Jun-20 12:24:55

Nobody likes it. What will happen will happen. Negative people suck the air out of a room.

But they will swear blind that they are being ‘realistic’. Really, they want to be right.

heartsonacake Sun 14-Jun-20 12:25:33

From your last update it sounds like you have no interest in taking advice and hearing you’re being unreasonable because you don’t think you’re doing anything wrong.

Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:26:12

I didn’t say MIL would be made redundant because she’s shielding. But they are getting rid of all but a handful of people. And where did I say that I told him to suck it up?!?! Why do people make up stuff to suit their responses??

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LillianBland Sun 14-Jun-20 12:26:41

I sometimes find that sone really positive people use that “everything will be fine” as a way of closing down the conversation. They don’t want to discuss it, so use it as a way to dismiss the other person’s concerns. When you think about it, it’s a great way of not taking the time to listen to things that makes them uncomfortable and using emotional energy in supporting the other person. It, in some cases, can be quite selfish behaviour.

Dixie2016 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:29:38

LillianBland - yes I agree and that’s something he does often. I prefer to be proactive and see what I can do to make the best of a situation rather than sit around waiting for things just to happen to me.

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EatsShootsAndRuns Sun 14-Jun-20 12:30:25

My ex would accuse me of being ”always with the negativity” when I was trying to rein in his more outlandish brain farts.

Like when he wanted to us to move into his dad’s house (with his dad still living there) with our then-toddler daughter. He thought it would be lovely. I pointed out the potential pitfalls and I was told I didn't have a positive bone in my body. hmm

FlashesOfRage Sun 14-Jun-20 12:32:05

To me you sound like a pragmatist and he sounds like someone who thinks “positivity” means burying your head and never considering outcomes or preparing just in case. 💐

Me and my husband are both quite like you. To us it’s about being prepared in life and hoping you don’t need it but being glad you did if the shit hits the fan!

Because me and DH are the same it isn’t something we ever need to rein in.
But I do have a very good friend who told me “well you do always catastrophise and assume the worst” confused
I was really surprised and just decided to moderate what I say to her and how I say it.

I hope you can adapt a bit and just hold your insights in because it sounds like he will neither take what you’re saying as useful or thank you for it x

Ellisandra Sun 14-Jun-20 12:32:30

My husband and I are opposites. Some might say we’re positive vs negative, but I’d say we’re “unhelpful platitude” vs realistic.

Last year I was under notice of possible redundancy - no catastrophising negativity, I’d had my 1:1 HR consultation. I got another internal role, fortunately.

My husband was all, “there are jobs out there! You’re fab at your job!” (which is a nice compliment, but meaningless - he doesn’t work with me! He doesn’t know!)

In the end, I told him outright - every time I voice my fears and you start on with your meaningless platitudes, I feel worse - you undermine my fears and leave me no place to express them. I need to say I’m worried, I need to talk through my worst case scenario so that I know I can cope with it.

Of course, now he thinks he was right all along, whereas I look at the timing... my leaving date would have been one week after lockdown!

“Oh you’ll get another job easily” confused

It’s not good to be around constantly negative people who exaggerate and don’t look for solutions. But it’s also infuriating to be around those who are relentlessly positive without actually being any practical help!

LillianBland Sun 14-Jun-20 12:33:02


LillianBland - yes I agree and that’s something he does often. I prefer to be proactive and see what I can do to make the best of a situation rather than sit around waiting for things just to happen to me.

Do you feel that he’s leaving you to sort out all the mental load? If he ignores the problem for long enough, then you have to deal with it?

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